Just 18 months after launching, PPC Enterprises already has a small but perfectly formed portfolio of brands on its books. The range goes from evergreen properties, Monty Python and the recently relaunched Pinky & Perky to the more recent phenomenon Little Britain and Little Britain USA, right through to The Hive, a pre-school CGI series in its infancy.
The PPC Group was founded in 1982 as a film trailer company, and has expanded over time to offer TV commercials, print design, interactive marketing, promotions, and programme making. Enterprises is one of the more recent additions, following a management buy-out led by Steve O`Pray in 2007.
PPC Enterprises is the commercial arm of the PPC Group. Its objective is to pursue new areas of business with key emphasis and expertise in the exploitation of merchandising and licensing rights for key brands in the worldwide licensing community.
Enterprises is headed up by Mark Hurry, formerly the commercial director at Granada Ventures and has successfully acquired a strong slate of brands, all of which are proving to be successful in their own right.
The firm is also promoting the innovative new concept 3DTV – ‘the next step forward in TV technology’, for which the group is developing content. 3DTV needs no special 3D glasses and allows viewers to feel part of the action, rather than just watch it.
Hurry is excited about the future and says: “We have an incredible range of talent at PPC, we do everything from production to licensing and marketing and we have an enormous amount of skill and experience within the company.”
PPC employs 135 staff and across the group the biggest clients are Paramount Pictures, Universal, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, and Pathe. Other clients include Kao Brands, Mitsubishi, Harper Collins, 2k Games, Sony PlayStation and Eidos.
Within PPC Enterprises, there have been high points for each property, notably the hugely successful launch of Pinky & Perky on both CBBC and BBC1, as well as the fledgling work on The Hive.
In terms of licensing, the team has been hard at work as Hurry explains: “We have secured apparel deals for them all. Pinky and Perky has a stage show on the way, and we’ve got gifts, sound toy chains, dress up and canvas wall art deals for both Python and Pinky and Perky.”
There is also a Nintendo DS game in the pipeline for Pinky and Perky, and the firm is looking to expand the brand overseas as it is showing in Australia and is due to broadcast on France 3 in the next few months.
There have also been notable success stories across the rest of the group’s work. Hurry continues: “Our global audio visual campaigns for Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia and Slumdog Millionaire have been the standout campaigns for the year – and our interactive campaign for Watchmen has been ground-breaking.”
The strong portfolio of products seems to have stood the group in good stead throughout difficult times. Hurry explains: “The current climate is challenging for everyone, however we have found that our core film client base, our online marketing expertise, and the new properties we have brought into PPC Enterprises, have meant that we are weathering the storm pretty well.”
Going forward, the group is planning to build on its client base and is looking at potential company and IP property acquisitions over the next year, but without taking focus away from its established core business.
Hurry continues: “I’d expect us to come out of the other side of the recession with a business full of good people, great campaigns, and strong properties, ready to grow into whatever shape the new world economy allows us.”
When asked if there was any insight into such brand acquisition dreams, Hurry remains tight-lipped: “We’re fortunate to work with some of the biggest and best brands in the world – but my son and daughter would be happy if we had Ben 10 and Peppa Pig on the slate.”